SFO to introduce priority security line for public transit riders

On Thursday, the BART Board of Directors approved a measure with the goal of creating a priority security line for public transit riders at SFO. In their meeting, the directors voted to approve something called trip verification technology (TVT), which would work as follows:

With TVT, SFO-hired staff would use devices at a designated entry point to scan Clipper cards or QR codes on BART apps to verify a customer used public transportation to get to the airport. If the trip on BART or other public transportation is verified, the customer would proceed to a priority line to go through TSA screening.

I’m really excited about this for a few reasons, but mostly because I’m a huge fan of public transit in general and because of the environmental impacts of getting more cars off the road.

Although I almost always take BART to and from the airport, this new system likely won’t affect me since I already use CLEAR which gets me through security in a matter of minutes, regardless of crowds. That said, I do hope this encourages more passangers to take BART, which is really a quick and easy way to get to the airport from SFO (especially if you’re flying out of the International Terminal or Terminal 3, where you can walk to security without even needing to take the AirTrain to get to security).

Will this make you more likely to take BART to the airport? Let me know in the comments!

SFO is shutting down its main runway for 20 days with significant delays expected

SFO will be shutting down its main runaway for 20 days beginning on September 7th, prompting United to send out a text offering free ticket changes to San Francisco travelers.

According to the text from United, “Delays of 30 to 45 minutes on average are expected for all flights after 9 a.m., with some flights delayed by up to 2 hours.”

I had no idea about this planned construction but I lucked out (*knocks on wood*), having booked a trip leaving SFO on September 6th. However, now I will definitely expect a delay on my flight home on September 11th.

If you have a choice, try to book through Oakland or San Jose while construction is ongoing. Otherwise, be prepared for an average of a 30-45 minute delay (though, of course, you’ll have to be at the airport waiting just in case you’re on one of the few flights that takes off on time!).

San Francisco Trip Deal: $662 round-trip from SFO to Bali on Singapore Airlines, EVA Air

Singapore Airlines and EVA Air, both members of the Star Alliance, are putting flights from San Francisco to Bali, Indonesia on sale! Flights start at $662 round-trip, after taxes with very good availability between February and May 2018.

Singapore Airlines and EVA Air are both known for providing excellent service in-flight

To find this deal, use Google Flights and search for flights between SFO and DPS.

Excessive heat shuts down SFO’s AirTrain

San Francisco experienced the hottest temperature ever recorded in the city on Saturday, with the mercury rising to 106 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). In city where most buildings don’t have air conditioning, the heat was oppressive.

It was so hot that the San Francisco International Airport had to shut down its AirTrain service, which connects the airport to public transportation. Although the airport remained open (unlike Phoenix’s airport, which recently had to shut down due to excessive heat), travelers were told to use airport shuttles to get to either the parking lot or BART, the Bay Area’s rapid public transportation system.

If you were affected by the AirTrain outage, let me know in the comments!

 

Flying Delta on the day of its computer glitch and airport protests

I planned a trip to LA this weekend for a meeting and to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Jimmy!) and thought it would be a quick trip to and from SFO.

I decided to book through Delta, despite having status on American and United, because I found a round-trip, Delta Comfort+ ticket for $136.40, whereas United and American were pricing economy in the $180 range.  Also, I wanted to take advantage of Delta’s partnership with Alaska, which is soon ending, and credit the miles to my Alaska account, as I go for status with Alaska this year.

I really regret choosing to fly with Delta for this flight, though. The headache began when I landed in LA, and saw that Delta credited the miles I earned to my Delta account, not to Alaska (even though my ticket had my Alaska frequent flier number on it, and I called in advance to confirm the miles would be credited to Alaska).  They told me this was non-reversible, then said it was, and then put me on a conference call with Alaska to fix their mistake. When they told me there was 25-minute wait to speak to a representative, they said the could fix it without me staying on the line, but, so far, I’m still waiting for this to go through.

Having seen what was going on in the news, I was happy my flight was at 11am from LAX to SFO, knowing that the later my flight was, the higher the odds that I’d be grounded due to a protest.  The flight departed at around 11:35am, though it managed to land around 12:30pm (the expected arrival time).

Although reports are that Delta’s computer system crashed later in the day, there were absolutely issues on my flight. After landing, we were stuck on the tarmac for over an hour, due to a “technical glitch” (there was nothing more announced on my flight).  Since the flight from LA was only around 50 minutes, the extra hour on the plane almost doubled the flight time.

I decided to take public transportation from the airport back home, and on my way to the airport’s BART station, I had to pass the International Terminal, which was full of anti-Trump protesters.  Even on the BART ride home, many people had signs reading “No Ban, No Wall.”

The Delta computer glitch was a hassle but, overall, it was an interesting day to fly.